By Connor Armstrong at Meadow Park
Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal Under-19s claimed their first Uefa Youth League win of the season with a dominant display against Ludogorets.
Reiss Nelson’s cushioned first-half effort saw the Gunners go in with a one-goal lead at the interval.
Nelson repeatedly threatened in the second half, but goalkeeper Daniel Naumov was equal to his best efforts.
Nketiah got his first from the penalty spot, before reacting quickly to head home a second just minutes later.
SETTING THE SCENE
Andries Jonker handed Joao Virginia his Youth League debut, and retained the partnership of Krystian Bielik and Kris Da Graca in the centre of defence.
Vlad Dragomir paired up with Josh Dasilva in midfield, with Donyell Malen, Stephy Mavididi and Nelson playing further forward.
Nketiah spearheaded the Arsenal attack.
The Gunners came into the game needing a win after taking just one point from their opening two games.
Jonker’s side could not have hoped for a better start, with Nelson placing an effort beyond the grasp of Naumov after being set up by Nketiah.
From then on, the hosts were frustrated by their Bulgarian visitors, who sat deep on the edge of their area and looked to limit Arsenal’s attacking forays.
Naumov was forced into another save when Dasilva took aim from outside of the area with a low, powerful drive.
Nelson took aim twice with dipping strikes from outside the area, as the Gunners began the second half with a heightened tempo.
Ludogorets continued to frustrate them until the 82nd minute, when Nketiah was brought down in the area, and the forward converted from the spot.
Nketiah then added his second goal of the afternoon just five minutes later, reacting fastest to head home from near the penalty spot.
Arsenal are now up and running in the Uefa Youth League after recording their first win this season.
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